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How to Make a Blog Post Go Viral

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How to Make a Blog Post Go Viral

Writing blog posts are a beneficial way for a single person, business, or organization to gain exposure. Usually there is a certain goal in mind when choosing to start blogging, such as raising awareness, generating sales, or becoming a branding platform. Consistent, unique, and informative blog posts can help with accomplishing those goals when done the right way.

Getting your blog post to go viral is not always possible, but there are some general guidelines that can help increase your chances. Blogs have become as important to the Internet as any other information gathering platform online. While it’s true that blogs are a beneficial resource, some are wondering, “How do I cull an audience and ensure people are reading my posts?” After all, who wants to write for an empty room?

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So the question is, “How do I make my blog go viral?” That’s a good question, and I’ve got some good answers.

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Consider This Question Before You Even Begin Writing

Is the blog topic I’m choosing viral worthy?

  • Choosing a viral worthy blog topic means choosing a topic that isn’t covered too frequently. There’s a slim chance a blog post will go viral if it’s only filled with information that’s been seen numerous times. If you do decide to cover a popular topic, it’s your job to make it fresh for your readers. Otherwise, why would they read your blog when there are 10 more posts just like it? Take the topic and show it in a light it has never been shown in before. This could be tricky if you’re writing for a niche audience, but doing the proper research or performing case studies could help make your post unique. Research will aid in providing you with useful content, such as statistics. It’s a good idea to include a piece of that research in the title. A shocking statistic will get your audience to open the post, and the content will make them want to share it.
  • Do it Better: If your topic is well-known and widely written about, find a hole in the available information and fill it. Finding the most shared content is easy with sites like BuzzSumo.com and Ahrefs.com’s content explorer.
  • Be Relatable: It is important for your readers to feel as though you understand them and the topic. This audience is following your blog for a reason. Make sure you’re staying true to why they started following you in the first place. For example, if your blog is about technology, stay up to date with the latest technology news and information, but also share your opinions and encourage them to share theirs. Honesty and transparency will make your readers feel connected, and they will return because of that connection. Assuming some of the people in the readers’ lives may have similar interests and feelings, they could then share with them.

This may seem obvious, but not everyone is doing it. If they were, every blog would be viral. This first question is worth considering. Without fresh, useful information and a connected audience, your blog will not be successful for long.

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Consider These Questions When Publishing the Blog Post

Are you sharing and promoting your blog properly?

  • If you, your business, or organization has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other forms of social media, you should share the blog on those outlets. The followers you have on those outlets are a good start for the blog’s exposure. Once you’ve got a captive audience, you only need to put out great content in order to go viral—easy right?
  • If your blog post has high resolution photos, which it definitely should, it’s important to make sure they’re compatible with the social media outlets you decide to use. Examples include Instagram and Pinterest. Try to use one of the main photos from your blog on Instagram and then place the link in the caption. When it comes to Pinterest, make sure the photo you choose is visually pleasing. Pinterest is most popular for image viewing. If the image is attractive, users will be more likely to click on the photo that leads to the blog post.
  • Twitter is another outlet to be thinking about. With a limited amount of characters allowed, you want to be smart about what you choose to write in front of the blog link. A good idea is to grab an interesting quote from the blog post that will be intriguing for your followers. A little sneak peak of what the blog has to offer could help attract your followers, who could possibly even retweet it. Using a hashtag that relates to the topic is also helpful. People who typically view that hashtag for updates on that topic will have better access to it.
  • Share your posts with your network. Whether they are fellow bloggers, your mentor, or your kids, if what you have to offer is beneficial to them or their network they will be happy to share it. Remember to return the favor. Good sharing karma is important. You can’t expect your network to share and endorse your work without reciprocation.
  • Reach out to relevant organizations or businesses that may relate to your post. An email pitch introducing yourself and why your post is relevant for their followers could encourage them to share it on their social media accounts. You can even give them a mention in the blog post before reaching out to them.

Is your blog SEO friendly?

  • If people are purposely going to a search engine to learn about the topic your blog is written about, you want to make sure that your blog has a chance of being seen. Be sure to use headings. Headings help to inform Google of the main topic of the post. Subheadings are beneficial for the readers. They allow readers to skim the blog post and choose which sections interest them most.
  • Do some keyword research. Using specific keywords that have high search volume within your blog post will help your blog appear when those keywords are searched. There are a number of keyword research tools that can help. Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the most popular and easy to use.  Knowing which keywords readers are searching for will help to shape your content, header tags, and title tags. Your blog won’t be going viral if it can’t be found. Further SEO consultation could help to ensure your blogs are always SEO friendly.

When writing a blog post that you hope will go viral, consider asking yourself the questions above. Depending on the quality of the post, it could go viral without having to use everything listed, but try including everything for the best results. You might as well give all these ideas a shot. You never know, maybe something you create will eventually be seen by millions. If and when it reaches that point, it’s in your best interest to follow some guidelines. The site Always Found states the most important guidelines are “be ready, stay on brand, and take context into account.” These guidelines can apply to both attempted viral marketing and unexpected viral marketing. Either way, it’s important to take advantage of the moment.

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Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/ via pexels.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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